The MAOIs were first introduced in the mid-1950s, and for the first decade of their use, nobody had an inkling that combining them with cheese (or any other high tyramine food) could be dangerous.
Arguably, the most confusing thing about MAOIs is keeping track of which medication is “tranylcypromine” and which is “phenelzine.” The following mnemonics work for Dr. Carlat, and perhaps they will for you.
Dr. Cole, you have been involved in some of the seminal research in psychopharmacology over the years, including some of the early studies of MAOIs. One of the things that I’ve heard is that the early studies of MAOIs were not very impressive. Is that true?
Dr. Aiken is the Editor in Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report; director of the Mood Treatment Center in North Carolina, where he maintains a private practice combining medication and therapy along with evidence-based complementary and alternative treatments; and Assistant Professor NYU Langone Department of Psychiatry. He has worked as a research assistant at the NIMH and a sub-investigator on clinical trials, and conducts research on a shoestring budget out of his private practice. Follow him on Twitter and find him on LinkedIn.